6 Social Media Metrics You Should Be Tracking

Posted on July 14th 2010

When thinking about your social media strategy, you should be planning for 6 important metrics. What are the six? There are 3 different levels of social media participation and 2 different types of metrics. Put them in a 3 x 2 metrics, and you get six.

Here’s the rundown on the 3 social media engagement aspects to measure:

  • Activity - Any metrics relating to actions your organization is taking on social media: blogging, tweeting, posting, promoting, etc.
  • Interaction - This category’s metrics focus on how your audience is engaging with your social media presence: followers, comments, likes, sharing, user created content, etc.
  • Returns - This group accounts for where your social media activities directly or indirectly support measures driving successful organizations: revenue creation (and the activities that lead up to it), cost minimization (along with activities to help achieve it), and other critical financial performance metrics.

Relative to the two different types of metrics, use the “whole-brain metrics” strategy we’ve recommended before: capture both quantitative (left brain) and qualitative (right brain) measures.Using this metrics strategy accounts for both the “hard” numbers and softer perspectives (stories, images, buzz-related feedback) to provide the most complete evaluative picture of your social media strategy.

There’s a clear advantage to considering the metrics strategy when devising your overall social media strategy. The earlier you think through what you should be tracking in these six categories, the better you’ll be able to shape your innovative social media strategy to be ROI-oriented.



Mike Brown

Mike Brown is the founder of the The Brainzooming™ Group. He has been at the forefront of leading Fortune 500 culture change, contributing new approaches in research, developing simplified tools for innovation, strategy planning, and aligning sales, marketing, and communications strategies for maximum business results. Additionally, he’s won multiple awards for his strategic brand-building approach to customer experiences in NASCAR and conference event marketing efforts. He has accomplished these successes through a teaching orientation and providing non-experts with dynamic tools so they can succeed like experts.
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Posted on July 16th 2010 at 8:46AM

Well done, straight forward post-- tracking and analyzing metrics is the core to implementing an effective digital marketing or social media marketing strategy... Without a coherent system for measuring this, your content and commentary simply exist with nothing to drive change or improvement to continue increasing the ROI of your social networking investment.

Three Ships Media posted a blog related to this yesterday -- "CRM: Using Social Media to Improve Brand Loyalty," take a look here: http://bit.ly/CRMSocialMedia


Posted on July 16th 2010 at 12:20PM

Thanks, this is a really good summary of social media metrics. Often times people focus too much on the quantitative measures and forget that qualitative data is just as important.

Posted on July 16th 2010 at 4:17PM

Good post. In 2010, one of the top buzzwords was Marketing ROI. With companies implementing social media into their marketing mix, it's no wonder Social Media ROI has become so important. Below is a link to a social media ROI calculator which I find invaluable for businesses who have implemented a comprehenisve social media marketing plan.



Posted on July 23rd 2010 at 8:08PM

Thanks for the related links. The social media ROI calculator is particularly interesting. While the math of putting together the equation might seem daunting to some, it's probably the least challenging part of the effort. Getting agreement to the valuations becomes the real point of contention in many cases. Although it might seem counterintuitive, the qualitative metrics can help support quantitative valuations by providing some more tangible support that social media can drive benefits with target audiences.

Also, based on an early comment to this post (which later disappeared), I modified the chart above to include some more explicit recognition of the customer service value social metrics can provide. This updated chart can be found at: http://brainzooming.com/?p=3879

Posted on August 16th 2010 at 10:08AM

Anytime I can get a chart to explain something, I love it! This is a great way of reorganizing some basic principles into an easy and clear system.

Posted on January 4th 2011 at 12:59AM

Thanks for your thoughts!!!

In my opinion, Social Media Marketing is only the pull of the tribe. The tribe already has your trust so the actions they take are ones you align with. On a larger scale, it's the allure for repesenting the group as you take action together. "I am doing this so why don't you do it with me?" I means to say that Social Media Marketing uses only the power of attraction.